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RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trudeau accuses opposition of playing gutter politics with Morneau conflict of interest questions



NDP MP Nathan Cullen, right, and NDP Parliamentary Leader Guy Caron take part in a press conference in the foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick



THE CANADIAN PRESS
Oct 18, 2017
, Last Updated: 5:18 PM ET


OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refuses to say when he found out that Bill Morneau never put his substantial assets into a blind trust after being appointed finance minister two years ago.

Trudeau accuses opposition parties, who’ve intensified their attacks on the finance minister, of playing gutter politics over the issue.

And he says he has faith that both Morneau and ethics commissioner Mary Dawson followed all the requirements of the Conflict of Interest Act.

At issue is an estimated $40 million in shares that the minister still owns in Morneau Shepell, a human resources and pension management firm originally started by his father, and which he is now responsible for regulating as the minister of finance.

In 2015, Morneau said he expected he’d have to place those holdings into a blind trust but it was revealed this week that Dawson advised him that wasn’t required because the shares were indirectly held through private companies — also owned by Morneau.



Conservative MPs are demanding that Trudeau explain when he found out Morneau was still managing his own financial fortune at the same time as he was regulating the industry; but Trudeau has dodged all their questions.


http://cnews.canoe.com/CNEWS/C.....59470.html
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCO wrote:

Conservative MPs are demanding that Trudeau explain when he found out Morneau was still managing his own financial fortune at the same time as he was regulating the industry; but Trudeau has dodged all their questions.
http://cnews.canoe.com/CNEWS/C.....59470.html


If you were an empty-headed twirp with little real experience in the world, for some inexplicable reason nominally running a G-8 country, wouldn't you be avoiding those kinds of questions?
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morneau says ownership of assets doesn't put him in a conflict



Rachel Aiello, Ottawa News Bureau Online Producer

@rachaiello
.
Published Thursday, October 19, 2017 10:28AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 19, 2017 11:05AM EDT

OTTAWA – Finance Minister Bill Morneau says, despite still indirectly owning shares in his family’s business, he has followed the rules and, based on the advice of the ethics commissioner, he doesn’t think it puts him in a conflict of interest.

Morneau said he met with Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson when he entered public life, at which time he disclosed all his assets and she advised him how to arrange his affairs so he would not be in any potential conflicts of interest.

"We have an approach to dealing with conflicts of interest. I set forth my assets, I followed the advice of the ethics commissioner to the letter," said Morneau Thusday morning at a tax reform announcement in Erinsville, Ont. "And I think what that does is allow us to continue with the work that we’re going to do, free of conflicts."



Morneau
Minister of Finance Bill Morneau responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

When asked about the benefit to him of using the legal loophole, Morneau said he would comment further later today. He is expected to attend Question Period in the House of Commons.

"So stay tuned," said Morneau.

As CTV News reported Tuesday, Morneau continues to own shares in his family's business Morneau Shepell through a corporate structure that keeps him from having to divest or put his shares in a blind trust.

This is in contrast with 10 current members of the federal cabinet who divested their holdings, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

These are requirements that Morneau didn't have to meet, because his estimated $40 million in Morneau Shepell stock is held by a numbered Alberta company.

The opposition allege that Morneau's continued ownership of shares in the firm creates numerous conflicts of interest.

As Dawson told CTV News Tuesday, because Morneau's shares are held by the company, he is considered to hold them indirectly. The way she interprets the law only applies to directly held shares. It’s a loophole she flagged in a 2013 report, when the Conservatives were in power, but neither they, nor the current government, have done anything to close it.

In the Commons question period on Wednesday, Trudeau was on the defensive over Morneau's continued ownership of the shares in a firm that stands to benefit from decisions he makes as the finance minister. Trudeau said that Morneau, like others, acted on the advice of the ethics commissioner.

Trudeau did not say, when asked, when he found out that Morneau’s assets were not in a blind trust, and chalked up the opposition’s questioning to personal attacks.

Morneau has asked Dawson for a meeting to discuss whether further steps, like putting his assets in a blind trust, would be appropriate.


http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics.....-1.3639324
Bugs





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, Mr Loophole did the expected, told his side of the story -- which is that, in his own opinion he has done nothing wrong. Well, I think that if you asked Hitler if he'd done anything wrong, he'd probably deny it. Let's say it's a low bar.

It would seem to me that the prohibitions are to prevent politicians from trading. If he had enough contol over the shares that he could sell them at his own discretion, then ... it would certainly be an ethical breech even if it wasn't a legal one.

We get confused about what ethics means. Ethics aren't about loop-holes.

The Ethics Commission (how Orwellian is that?) itself laid out the path in its earlier report. You don't have to tell a guy like Moreau twice.

And then he ducks questions, hides behind "the face" of the party, and then delays to Question Period, which everyone knows is the last place one would go to get an honest answer to a real question.

It looks to me as if they are keeping Moreau. He's one of them now.
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill Morneau seems to resent even having to explain himself

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau speaks during question period on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on...

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau speaks during question period on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Thursday, October 19, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld



Anthony Furey, Postmedia Network
Oct 20, 2017
, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET


Bill Morneau doesn’t seem to understand that the issue isn’t what he’s going to do now. No, the question is why he did what he did in the first place.

And not only did Morneau not really answer the question, he even seemed somewhat indignant that he had to answer to the public in the first place.

On Thursday the embattled finance minister announced he’d be putting all of his assets into a blind trust and eventually divesting all of his shares in the family firm Morneau Shepell to show he’s “completely free of conflict.”

There was certainly the appearance of a conflict, or at least the appearance of a risk of conflict, to have someone in such a powerful post hold millions of dollars in a company that stands to gain from decisions made by said person.

And we’re not even talking theoretical, either. The NDP wants the ethics commissioner to look into Morneau’s support of a bill that broadens the plans pension companies can offer. Morneau Shepell would be a prime candidate to benefit from such a law.

Now the new business arrangement Morneau presented to Canadians seems like a good one. Not that he came up with it himself. It is, after all, what Section 27 of the Conflict of Interest Act lays out — that cabinet ministers and other prominent persons on the Hill either sell their shares or go into a blind trust. It’s what he should have done from the beginning.

Morneau even gave media and his company the impression, back in 2015, that this is exactly what he was going to do from the beginning. But along the way it seems that he, or one of his representatives, paused and looked around to see if there was any possible way he could keep the shares on hand. How else did he come up with the idea to do what he eventually did: take the shares out of his name and into a corporation that he controlled?

That meant he held the shares “indirectly”, which ethics commissioner Mary Dawson apparently confirmed to him did not violate the Act. However she made clear that she did not specifically counsel that he take this course of action. Far from it, as Dawson had told the government back in 2013 that this was a loophole that should be closed (and never was). So while it didn’t violate the letter of the law, it darn well violated the spirit of the law.

It seems Morneau’s priority wasn’t following Section 27. It was finding some creative way to keep his shares while not breaking that section.

Some observers thought Morneau was going to resign Thursday. Far from it. He said he had “naively” thought consulting with the ethics commissioner was enough. He talked about how the public and press were “getting distracted about my personal situation,” as if people’s genuine concerns were a trifle and a waste of his time.

It was disappointing to see this tone from a minister who had previously behaved in a manner above reproach.

One almost wants to join the pile-on calling for Morneau’s resignation, were it not for the fact that there’s no obvious alternative in the Liberal caucus with sufficient experience to take his place. Canadians are now stuck with the devil they know.

http://cnews.canoe.com/CNEWS/C.....59753.html
RCO





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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For starters, Morneau needs to say he's sorry


Postmedia Network

First posted: Friday, October 20, 2017 09:08 PM EDT | Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017 09:14 PM EDT



It was an awful week for embattled finance minister Bill Morneau.

Not only is the poor guy so rich that he can’t keep track of his luxury real estate, but he’s now liquidating around a million stocks in a company – his own – that’s only gone up in value since when he was first supposed to sell them or put them in a blind trust two years ago. Talk about good problems to have.

You’d think he’d be approaching all of this with a touch of humility. Even with a bit of remorse. But that’s not the case at all.

The usually unflappable Morneau had a bit of an edge to him in his press conference on Thursday, during which he announced his plans to finally do what he should have done all along.

“He even seemed somewhat indignant that he had to answer to the public in the first place,” as Anthony Furey put it in a recent column.

This is entirely the wrong approach. The Liberals campaigned on transparency.

It's difficult to call what's been revealed over the past week transparent, either by Morneau or the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

And given Trudeau and his finance minister are clamping down on middle class and small business tax breaks in the name of "fairness" how does it look when the finance minister's company does work for an agency he's responsible for.

Now maybe Morneau doesn’t see it this way. The finance minister and his people have repeated multiple times that he consulted with the ethics commissioner back in 2015 and that she told him his plan to hold his Morneau Shepell shares “indirectly” via a corporation would not be breaking the Conflict of Interest Act, something the commissioner has herself confirmed.

OK, but that doesn’t make it right. It looks like a workaround, one that may be legal but doesn't pass the smell test .

As Candice Malcolm exposed in Friday’s Sun papers, Morneau Shepell holds an $8 million contract with the Bank of Canada that was renewed earlier this year. The optics of this are truly horrendous.

“It’s not Bill Morneau’s fault that he is rich beyond dreams,” as Mark Bonokoski put it. But it is his fault, and no one else’s, that he hasn’t properly managed his affairs.

http://www.torontosun.com/2017.....-hes-sorry
Bugs





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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wouldn't an"ïnflationary gains" tax be a natural? Why wouldn't a guy as smart as Moreau see the opportunity there?

First of all, inflationary gains are just a windfall of free money. So paying a huge proportion of inflationary gains is painless. OK, relatively painless.

If Revenue Canada had some way of measuring the amount of inflation in financial assets -- say, the difference in their income value and their market value on sales day would be due to the irrationalities of the marketplace, which, of course, it would be "unfair" to exploit.

And then we could turn our attention to inheritance tax. That's a root cause of "unfairness" right there.
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( morneau is now offering to donate any share profits to charity after meeting with ethics watchdog )



Morneau offers to donate share profits after meeting with ethics watchdog


Since November 2015, profits on the federal finance minister’s 1 million shares in his former family company come to about $5 million.




Federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau is under fire from opposition MPs who are demanding he disclose all publicly traded securities that he may have in an assortment of numbered companies or any family trusts.


By Tonda MacCharlesOttawa Bureau reporter

Thu., Oct. 26, 2017




OTTAWA—In another surprise move, Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he will donate to charity all profits earned on the 1 million Morneau Shepell shares he has held since being elected in 2015.

The move comes on top of last week's decision to put all his assets in a blind trust, and sell his and his family's Morneau Shepell shares.

A rough estimate of the profit made on Morneau's shares in his former family company is about $5 million based on a roughly $5 rise in the share value since November 2015.

Morneau made the surprise announcement to the Commons, saying he told Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson Thursday when he met her at his office.

But the opposition continues to hammer him, with Conservatives demanding he disclose all other publicly traded securities that the finance minister may have in an assortment of numbered companies or any family trusts.




Morneau said the opposition continues “to obsess” about his personal finances but he wants to show Canadians his only goal is to get on with the work the Liberal government is doing on behalf of Canadian families.

“This is the way we get confidence from Canadians to go forward,” said Morneau.

He said he has always followed the recommendations of Dawson who looked at all his assets at “a very, very granular level” and has never been in a conflict of interest in the past two years.





Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he is meeting with the ethics commissioner Thursday to discuss how he can reassure Canadians about his personal wealth. Morneau is taking steps to end the controversy regarding his business assets. (The Canadian Press)



He said the measures he is taking now to go “above and beyond” Dawson's advice will ensure he remains conflict-free for the years to come.

When Morneau took office, Dawson told Morneau to set up an ethics screen that would require his chief of staff to prevent him from participating in any decisions that may directly or indirectly affect the interests of Morneau Shepell.

She advised him the law did not require him to put his shares into a blind trust because they were not directly controlled by him- they are held by two corporations he set up. She also said a blind trust would be useless in his case because Morneau would nevertheless know what shares or interests he had. Dawson's office says the conflict screen was the best measure to prevent any violations.

His vow on Thursday was not enough for either the Conservatives or the NDP.

They slammed the ethics screen as ineffective.

Conservative MP Gerard Deltell said Morneau showed he would “only act when he's caught with his hands in the cookie jar.”

NDP ethics critic Nathan Cullen said “maybe on Bay Street” the way out of trouble is to “cut a cheque” but he said Morneau's move is “an admission of guilt by no other means.”

Opposition MPs also say Morneau stood to benefit from Bill C27, a pension reform bill he has sponsored in the Commons. The NDP said that Morneau Shepell stock jumped in the week after C27 was tabled last October. But the bill has since not been debated in the House

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/10/26/morneau-offers-to-donate-share-profits-after-meeting-with-ethics-watchdog.html
Bugs





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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this an admission of guilt? Or raging hypocrisy?

They just can't relate to the outraged single mother pissed because her employee benefits are going to be taxed! Or the small business owner, for whom its another uncertainty. You can't say Morneau has no business experience, but it's financial management. He operates from the 53rd floor, and what does he know about the people in the food court?

Or even young couples saving for a down payment.

Morneau can't help it. To him, it seems to be an affront to be accountable. But it's probably that way in the world he comes from.
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the rebel did an access to information request on morneau to see if he recused himself from discussions where he had a personal stake but there is no records of that ever happening )



October 30, 2017

FireMorneau.com: SEE what our Access to Information request revealed about Trudeau’s Finance Minister

Ezra Levant
Rebel Commander




Bill Morneau is Justin Trudeau’s idea of a business success:

Morneau inherited his business from his dad, and he married a billionaire heiress.

When Morneau became finance minister, his company said he put his ownership in a blind trust.

But it turns out that he didn’t.

Morneau’s company, Morneau Shapell, isn’t just any financial company. They specialize in pensions, benefits and financial structuring for families, small businesses, the like. So Morneau’s changes to tax policy disproportionately benefit his firm.

It would be like Donald Trump cutting taxes on casinos.

Since he started making these changes, his shares in Morneau Shepell have skyrocketed — he’s made $5 million.

Now he says he’ll give the money to charity.

Great: So he’ll just take a huge charity tax credit, to reduce his tax bill even more?

But there’s one thing that’s new: Morneau says he recused himself from cabinet discussions when he had a personal stake in things. He said he did so twice.

So we filed an Access to Information request for any records about that in the Finance Department. Here’s the answer we got:


“… after a thorough search, no records exist in the Department of Finance Canada concerning this request.”


Are they lying? Or is he?

And how much longer will the Liberals tolerate this corrupt boob as finance minister?

I think now is long enough. He needs to be fired.

Will you sign the petition? I’d like to get 100,000 signatures — and we’ll personally deliver it to his office. Go to FireMorneau.com and sign today.

https://www.therebel.media/ezra_levant_october_30_2017
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( morneau was fined a pitiful $200 for failing to disclose his French vila )


Morneau pays $200 fine under Conflict of Interest Act



More from Anthony Furey



Published:
November 1, 2017


Updated:
November 1, 2017 12:01 PM EDT


Filed Under:

Toronto SUN ›
News ›
Canada ›



Minister of Finance Bill Morneau. Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press



Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau has paid his fine under the Conflict of Interest Act.

A notice quietly posted to the ethics commissioner’s website recently details the two sections of the act the embattled senior Liberal minister has been penalized for violating.

Both penalties are related to Morneau’s failure to disclose his directorship in the corporation that owns his French villa and an estimate of its failure.

The violation comes with a $200 fine, which the public notice marks as “paid.”

http://torontosun.com/news/nat.....terest-act
Bugs





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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A $200 fine for an 'oversight' Morneau made, upon which he made $millions?

That's lunch money for a guy putting a deal together. A small expense written off a handsome gain.

This is a joke. Ethics commissioner? What Orwellian office is this? She hits the minister with this fine? It feels more like Gerald Bull's finger is up my ass again.
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morneau faces ethics investigation

News 07:24 PM

Morneau faces ethics investigation-Image1


The Senate Committee on National Finance hears from Finance Minister Bill Morneau during a meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on November 1, 2017. Federal ethics watchdog Mary Dawson is launching an examination of Finance Minister Bill Morneau's involvement in a pension bill that could have benefited a company in which he owned some $21 million worth of shares. In a letter to NDP ethics critic Nathan Cullen, Dawson says she believes she has "reasonable grounds" to commence an examination of Morneau's conduct, under sect. 45(1) of the Conflict of Interest Act. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick - The Canadian Press, 2017



OTTAWA — Federal ethics watchdog Mary Dawson is launching an examination of Finance Minister Bill Morneau's involvement in a pension bill that could have benefited a company in which he owned some $21 million worth of shares.

In a letter to NDP ethics critic Nathan Cullen, Dawson says she believes she has "reasonable grounds" to commence an examination of Morneau's conduct.

The letter points to a section of the Conflict of Interest Act that empowers the ethics commissioner to examine a matter if she has reason to believe a public office holder has contravened the act.

Cullen had asked Dawson to investigate whether Morneau was in a conflict of interest when he sponsored Bill C-27.

Dawson had initially said she'd look into the matter and follow up with Morneau; she's now upgraded that to a full-blown examination.

Bill C-27 would allow pension administrators to convert direct benefit pension plans to targeted benefit plans — a change for which Morneau had lobbied when he was the head of Morneau Shepell, a pension administration and human resources company founded by his father.

When Morneau introduced the bill a year ago, he still held millions worth of shares in the company.

It emerged last month that, based on Dawson's advice, Morneau had not divested or placed those shares in a blind trust. Rather, he followed her recommendation that the "best measure of compliance" would be to set up a conflict of interest screen that was supposed to prevent him from being involved in discussions or decisions that could benefit him through his stake in Morneau Shepell.

Morneau has said he didn't need to recuse himself from C-27 because the bill is of general application and not specific to Morneau Shepell.

Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre, who has also asked Dawson to investigate, scoffed at the notion.


https://www.thespec.com/news-story/7915321-morneau-faces-ethics-investigation/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_campaign=tm
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ethics commissioner investigating Morneau's sponsorship of pension bill



Rachel Aiello, Ottawa News Bureau Online Producer

@rachaiello
.
Published Friday, November 10, 2017 5:00PM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 10, 2017 6:19PM EST

OTTAWA — Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson has confirmed she has launched a formal investigation into whether Finance Minister Bill Morneau has broken federal ethics law over his sponsorship of Bill C-27.

"We always are as careful as we can be to use the word examination when we’re talking about having launched an examination. Otherwise, we say we’re looking into something. It’s because when the media gets that word 'investigation' they confuse it between the two activities so we avoid the word investigation," Dawson told CTV News.

In a letter to NDP MP Nathan Cullen, provided exclusively to CTV News, Dawson said she has "reasonable grounds" based on her follow up meeting with the finance minister about his involvement with the pension bill, to "commence an examination" into whether Morneau contravened Canadian ethics laws by sponsoring the legislation while still owning shares in his family’s human resources company.


morneau
Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivers his fall economic statement in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Dawson confirmed to CTV News the investigation is solely focused on Morneau’s sponsorship of Bill C-27.

Cullen wrote to the ethics commissioner in October requesting an investigation into whether Morneau was in a potential conflict of interest for putting forward the bill while still indirectly owning shares in Morneau Shepell.

Bill C-27 proposes changes to private pensions, something that would fall under the company's purview.

On Oct. 26 Dawson informed Cullen that she had "concerns" about his sponsorship of the bill.

Today, she made it official she has grounds to dig deeper, and has informed Morneau of that.

"I received comments from Minister Morneau on his involvement in Bill C-27. I also received information from the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Member of Parliament for Carleton, on November 8, 2017. In light of the information provided in your letter as well as information gathered by my Office, I am of the view that I have reasonable grounds to commence an examination under subsection 45(1), and have so informed Minister Morneau."

At the time Cullen requested an investigation, Morneau was using an ethics loophole to continue to indirectly own shares in Morneau Shepell. Morneau has since announced he is divesting himself, and will donate the money earned from any increase in the value of shares in Morneau Shepell since he was elected.

The minister’s office emphasized that Dawson was conducting an examination and not an investigation, though the ethics watchdog herself has confirmed there is no difference.

Section 45(1) of the Conflict of Interest Act states that if the Commissioner has reason to believe a public office holder has contravened the Act, she can “examine the matter on his or her own initiative,” and unless the examination is stopped, the Commissioner will provide the Prime Minister with a report laying out the facts, and the Commissioner’s conclusion to whether the public office holder broke the law.

"Just admitting to what is obvious to everybody would be a good start, for the finance minister, rather than trying to play semantics," Cullen told Omar Sachedina on CTV’s Power Play.

Bill C-27 was tabled in Oct. 2016 and has not yet been debated.

In a statement issued in October, Morneau Shepell said it was not involved in the consultation on Bill C-27, and despite the company supporting the proposed changes, the legislation “is not expected to have a material impact on our company.”

When he took the finance minister position, Dawson set up an ethics screen managed by Morneau’s chief of staff to keep the minister from getting involved in government business that could affect the company, but his continued ownership of the giant HR firm created the potential for Morneau to have violated the Conflict of Interest Act, the opposition has said.

In a statement to CTV News, a spokesperson for Morneau said he will "answer any questions the Commissioner has on this matter."

"Since the first day in Office, the Minister of Finance has worked with the Conflict of Interests and Ethics Commissioner [sic.] and followed her recommendations and advice," said Chloe Luciani-Girouard, press secretary for Morneau.


http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics.....-1.3672832
Bugs





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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have any faith in this 'hearing'?

Now they are talking about an 'investigation' into possible violations of ethics law. Won't that be a toothless bit of boilerplate!

Am I being cynical if I view this "ethics commissioner" as a figurehead intended to whitewash the government and protect it from its official opposition? So, how much success will she have?

It's going to be like Justin, rattling on with his canned responses, and jamming up on ever answering a single question with frankness. And then, barely able to suppress his smirk, he claims to be more transparent ... blah, blah, blah.
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Finance Minister Morneau owns a secret french villa ?

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